Ever think you need to rewrite your entire novel? You’re not alone.
The first draft is never the final draft. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing or how great at it you are. You will always draft and revise. You may revise your first novel a hundred times. You might revise your tenth novel twice. It’s impossible to tell. Odds are, you’ll be doing some revising.
But what happens when you realize that your entire novel needs a face-lift? You’ve spent months working on it, tweaking dialog, adding personality, deepening your characters, enriching the setting. You’ve daydreamed about writing the query, about landing that agent, about getting that contract, about book signings, movies deals, fan girls, and how jealous your sister is going to be when you start pulling in the money for that writing career she said would never go anywhere.
It is hard to restart after all of that. It is hard to say that you’re not finished. It is hard to sit down and start all over, but sometimes you have to. With each revision the novel gets better. It is hard to cut out scenes that you are proud of, that you’ve worked on. It is hard to cut out sentences. Your novel is your baby, right? Every piece of it is beautiful, right?
No. It is hard not to think of your novel as a part of you, a psychical thing that is bound to you. It is a thing. And if you want that ‘thing’ to make you money, you need to work with it. You need to shape it, trim it, and sculpt it until it’s great.